If you are not into biking, this might sound like an exaggeration. But, for an ardent biker like me, storing his bike for a long period of time, is like a nightmare, essentially because motorcycles are made to burn up the road, instead of being frozen.
It is, however, a fact, that sometimes you encounter situations that are inevitable. For example, you might have suddenly made it to that foreign university you have been trying so hard for, or you have finally decided to embark upon that long-delayed family world tour you have been sweating out for since like ages.
And so, to prepare you for that undesired yet unavoidable phase of your life, we have curated a list of 6 ways in which you can ensure a safe storage for your beloved machine so that when you gear up for your next ride, your beast greets you, while still in its perfect demeanor, as always.
Wash the bike thoroughly
For starters, it is suggested that you clean your motorcycle carefully so as to wash away every existing particle of dust or grime or likewise.
Any previous season’s grit needs to be necessarily rinsed off the bike’s paint to avoid any damage to its finish. Take care to thoroughly wash all the bike accessories that you installed fondly to safeguard your bike.
After a dedicated bathing session, you can restfully let it dry under the sun, before it goes for that long nap.
Replacing the engine oil
Many remain ignorant of the fact that the motor oil in the engine not only acts as a lubricant but also helps in the filtration system of the motorcycle.
After your last ride of the season, it’s crucial to empty and replace any used oil in your engine, simply because when you store your motorcycle with dirty motor oil, the carbon (created as one major deposit of motor oil), is left suspended within it, which later rises to the surface.
This can cause excessive corrosion as well as etching on soft metal components such as transmission gears and bearings.
Take care of the tires
This might sound scary but leaving your bike, in its hibernation period, with its weight completely thrown on the flat tire, can potentially cause the development of a permanent flat spot on the otherwise perfectly good rubber.
It happens because tires are porous and tend to lose air when stored. However, you can successfully prevent this by investing in a good service stand or even by over inflating the tires a little.
Apart from this, try to move the motorcycle often so that the tires don’t remain in the same position for a longer duration.
Gas tank and carburetors
Consider it an invitation to deep trouble, if, by any means, you decide to leave your motorcycle stored with a half-filled gas tank.
While, a full gas tank prevents the inside from rusting and treated gasoline helps to knock of gunk and varnish, off the engine, a half-empty gas tank, and untreated gasoline, on the other hand, can create major maintenance issues that can cost you your precious money and energy, over a due course of time.
It is, therefore, advisable to fill up your gas tank, preferably with Non-Ethanol gasoline. You can then add some form of fuel stabilizer and let your bike run for a while (so that the stabilizing chemical can treat the entire fuel system). And finally, run the carburetors dry.
Unplug the batteries
The battery is as critical and vital to your bike as a heart is to humans. You may not consider its significance as seriously as you should but once it starts showing signs of glitches, you would realize how important it is.
Thus is it paramount to try and keep it safe and fresh for as long as you can.
Since, a live battery in an unused bike can pose as a hazard, leading to leakage of acid, along with tampering with the electricals, you must unwire it completely and keep it aside, till the next ride of yours.
Cover it all up
It is of prime importance to cover up your bike appropriately, in order to ensure complete outdoor and indoor protection.
A befitting cover will safeguard your bike’s paint and body from dust along with keeping the moisture out so it doesn’t get trapped down under, giving way to corrosion or rust.
Mice and rodents are generally keen on resting inside the air filters and exhaust pipes. To avoid running into such nasty surprises, when you next wish to take your ride back on tracks, make sure you cover up your air intake and the exhaust opening(s) with plastic bags or motorcycle exhaust plugs.
It is also mandatory, not to leave any electrical socket open which might lead to permeation of water.
Placing small plastic gauntlets that are available for electrical assemblies on either side of the handle can do the trick.
Same goes for locking the petrol tank so that when the time comes for its refill, it is free from all kinds of impurities, ensuring the safe working of the engine as well.
Last but not the least, do give your bike it’s required attention, at least once in while. Just a ride around even inside your garage would suffice.
The idea is to circulate the oil around and keeping the parts moving. It’ll warm up the engine, thereby increasing condensation. And getting it good and hot will burn off any internal condensation, while also circulating the coolant through the system.